The study of the presence and flow of electric charge. Charges, currents, fields, potentials.

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Why does pushing a magnet inside a solenoid produce current?

If you push a bar magnet inside a solenoid, a current is produced. But why is that? I mean, the wire is being moved along the magnetic field, so taking the cross product: $\vec{F} = ...
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3k views

Why does the thickness of a wire affect resistance?

For small thicknesses of wire, it's pretty obvious why resistance affects thickness. (The electronics squeeze to get through). But after a certain thickness shouldn't the thickness become irrelevant? ...
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5k views

How to find the direction of the magnetic field for an infinite conducting wire?

We've got two long straight wires carrying current of 5A and placed along x and y axis respectively current flows in direction of positive axes we have to find magnetic field at a) (1 m,1 m) b) (-1 ...
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985 views

Why does a cathode have to be heated to emit electrons?

Considering that electrons are highly mobile inside of a metal, why do they have such a tough time getting out at the edge of it and continuing their trip ballistically?
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Applicability of the concept of voltage in electrodynamic circuits

In electrostatics, we have $$\nabla \times \vec{E} = 0$$. Hence, we can define a scalar potential $V$, where $$\vec{E} = -\nabla V$$. We know from Faraday's law that $$\nabla \times \vec{E} = ...
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122 views

What type of magnetic fields does a Hall effect semi-conductor pick up on?

What type of magnetic fields does a Hall effect semi-conductor pick up on? AC or DC fields? How would one go about building a device that measures AC Magnetic fields?
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185 views

Are two touching conductors connected in parallel or in series?

Consider the following problem: There are two spherical conductors $A, B$, with capacitances $C_A, C_B$ resp. Conductor $A$ is supplied some charge and is found to have a potential of $160 \space V$. ...
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822 views

Is current related to the length of the conductor?

Ohm's Law tells us that $V = IR$. This implies that $I \propto \frac{1}{R}$. But, $R \propto l$, where l is the length of the conductor. This would mean that $I \propto \frac{1}{l}$. But this does not ...
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650 views

Derive that $P = I^2R$

As our homework, we were asked to derive $P = I^2R$. Now, I started off with the basic relation $P = \frac{W}{T}$. I was not able to think of anything from here, so I started plugging in random ...
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143 views

There is no electricity at home,I need to light a 15W CFL Bulb.Can I Do it with the help of a hamster? [closed]

We know that i)avg speed of A Hamster is 30km/hr. ii)Avg mass of hamster is 1.5 kg. From the above info: Kinetic energy=1/2 X mass X velocity^2 So, K.E=1/2 x 1.5 x 30 x 30 ...
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445 views

Elementary (fundamental) properties in electricity

I tend to believe that there are two elementary properties in electricity: Electric charge Coulomb's force I think that I can express any other entity in electricity using just these two (by means ...
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109 views

Single directional electric field insulator?

Is there any material, (kind of like a one way mirror), which allows an Electric Field to pass through from one direction, but not from the other? Thanks. Edit: As Ali has pointed out, one way ...
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1k views

Electric field from conductive to dielectric media

I am interested in the main difference between transitions from electric fields from Conductive to Conductive/ Dielectric to Dielectric and Dielectric/Conductive media. What are the boundary ...
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86 views

Electric field screening for arbitrarily formed charge

if I have a not necessarily homogenous electric field of a charge distribution in an electrolyte and i want to find out what the electric field at some position in the electrolyte is. is there any ...
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2answers
128 views

potential energy of a dipole?

The very popular from of potential energy of the dipole is $-P.E$. But in the derivation of it, we have negelected the potential energy of the pair of charges constituting the dipole. will this not ...
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1k views

Dielectric with polar molecules

Suppose a dielectric slab contains polar molecules (which are not further polarisable). When placed in an electric field, (for simplicity, an uniform field), align themselves according to the field. ...
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1k views

Dipole moment induced in a spherical particle

Consider a spherical metal particle made out of gold. If there is an external charge somewhere near the gold particle, is there a way to calculate the resulting dipole moment that is induced by the ...
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5answers
9k views

Does current flow back to the source through earth?

We know that if Single Line to Fault occurs, then fault current flows to the earth. I want to know whether the current will return to the source or not. For the current to flow we need a closed path. ...
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2k views

What is the speed of electrical current in salt water?

I am wondering about a specific question regarding the speed at which an electrical current traverses through salt-water / saline. By this I do not mean the electron drift speed - I mean, at what ...
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2answers
2k views

why is a resistor frequency independent

I had a doubt that why is a resistor, frequency independent? Since, as frequency increases the movement of electrons increases so heat increases which causes change in resistance. So my question is ...
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1answer
292 views

Electrons drift velocity and capacitors

My friend said this to me and just want to make sure this is right " when we connect the a battery to a LED and the 2 poles are connected, electrons flow from the (-) to the (+) but with very low ...
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5answers
5k views

Why does lightning emit light?

What exactly is causing the electric discharge coming from the clouds to emit light while traveling through the air. I've read and thought about it a little but with my current knowledge I cant really ...
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2answers
454 views

scaling of motor power

For car engines, the cylinder volume is often associated with the engine power, which suggests scaling of the power as $L^3$ where L is the linear size. Consider a system consisting of a motor and its ...
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3answers
414 views

How much iron ware to make a Faraday cage

In a thunderstorm I was thinking the following: suppose I am rowing in a lake during a thunderstorm. How big a Faraday cage do I need to make to protect myself? If lightning strikes the cage, will it ...
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1answer
3k views

Fermi level alignment and electrochemical potential between two metals

I'm trying to get a more intuitive/physical grasp of the Fermi level, like I have of electric potential. I know that, for just a single piece of metal in equilibrium, you have to have the electric ...
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129 views

Taking length/area element when trying to find E.resistance

I am trying to find out which 'element to take' (and why), When trying to find the resistance of some material with non-uniform resistivity $\rho$. I'll give an example: Say we have a co-axial cable ...
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761 views

Electric power for current density

The electric power produced by a current $I\in\mathbb{R}^+$ and a voltage $V\in\mathbb{R}^+$ is $$ P = IV. $$ Now the current is given as an (alternating) current density ...
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140 views

Current flows which way? [closed]

Current flows through a resistor (with no direction since it is not a vector/can flow from any potential)? I thinks it is with no direction since it is not a vector. Is that right?
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3k views

Current Through a Circuit with an 8 Resistor Setup

The following is a question from a practice Physics GRE exam (found online at ETS's website). The circuit shown in the figure consists of eight resistors, each with resistance R, and a battery ...
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1answer
1k views

Question regarding Drift velocity in general?

The derivation of drift velocity in case of electrons is equivalent to the case of an charged ionic gas and therefore all the arguments also apply there. Now for an ideal "ionic" gas which interacts ...
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1answer
165 views

Clarification on the Seebeck Effect

Alright, I've been interested in the Seebeck effect lately, so I've been trying to learn it. From what I understand, this is measured with the Seebeck Coefficient, which gives you the $\mu\textrm{V}$ ...
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693 views

Potential difference with an inductor

As far as I know, the potential difference between two points is defined as the negative line integral of electric field between those 2 points: $$\Delta V=-\int d \ell\cdot\mathbf E$$ I also know ...
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2answers
447 views

Why do electrons drift in an ideal conductor, since there's no field?

Suppose a simple circuit with a DC voltage source and a resistor. The voltage of the source will be situated over the resistor. So the electric field (which is the gradient of the potential) will be ...
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11k views

Why do current and electrons flow in opposite directions? [duplicate]

In representing an electric circuit, we would draw the sense of the current from the positive to the negative pole and the electrons from the negative to the positive . But as I know electrons' motion ...
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53 views

Is it possible to generate usable electricity from the motion or magnetic field of the Earth? [duplicate]

Let me start by saying that my knowledge of physics is almost nil (only high school level and I pretty much forgot everything) so bear with me, if I am asking naive questions the answers of which may ...
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2answers
357 views

Battery and current confusion?

How exactly does a battery produce a current in the circuit connected across its ends? I dont want to know the chemical reactions in the battery core, but just the essence of it. I believe it doesn't ...
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2answers
124 views

Need an intermediate resistivity part/material

I need a part or material for a planned experiment (the experiment is similar to those described in my articles http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.0066 and http://arxiv.org/abs/1109.1626 ). The problem is that ...
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1answer
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Charging by induction (and grounding)?

The very familiar phenomenon of charging by induction includes bringing a charged object near an uncharged sphere to induce a separation of charges in it and then grounding the charge (same as the ...
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41 views

Experimental study of the Photoelectric effect [duplicate]

As I was reading about the experimental arrangement for photoelectric effect, I saw a diagram that puzzled my knowledge of electrodes. I found that in the experimental setup the cathode of the ...
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1answer
76 views

Electricity directly from heating a material [duplicate]

I am looking for some more information about how to obtain electricity from heat directly. This e.g. involves the Seebeck effect, as I have found it is called, where a material produces a voltage ...
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6answers
12k views

Is it possible to generate electricity using a water tower?

Is it possible to build a water tower that will provide enough pressure to run an electricity generator? A water pump can be used to send water up to the tower. The water pump can be powered by solar ...
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1answer
503 views

heat energy and resistance of an elctric circuit

Very often it is said that "heat is developed" in a resistance when there is an electric current in it. But as far as I know heat is defined as a form of energy being transferred due to difference in ...
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2answers
18k views

Why do two connected 1.5-volt batteries become a 3- volt battery?

Why two connected 1.5 volt battery become 3 volts? If one battery plus side is connect to minus side of another battery, there should be a current flow between them until no free charge move anymore, ...
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113 views

How to size an electromagnet

How can I size an electromagnet? For example if I would to attract a mass of $x$ kg what are the calculations that I must do to size the ferromagnetic core and of course the solenoid? And thus, how ...
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1answer
2k views

Why does a moving electric charge have nonuniform electric field lines?

The electric field of a stationary electron is uniform, radially symmetric with straight field lines. However, the electric field of a moving electron still has radial and straight field lines, but ...
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2answers
235 views

How does current flow in a irregularly shaped heterogeneous resistor?

The motivation for my question is understanding how electricity gets through your skin as opposed to running along it, and how the presence of things like water on the skin affect the relative ...
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5answers
1k views

Why are wires in simple circuits approximated as equipotentials?

I just answered this question: Voltage in a circuit by asserting that any two points joined only by a wire, but no other circuit elements, are at the same value of the electric potential. It is, of ...
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2answers
249 views

Voltage in a circuit

Suppose I have a following circuit: I do not understand, why the potential difference between the points $c$ and $d$ is equal to the potential difference between the points $b$ and $a$? That is, ...
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104 views

Electrical properties of molten gallium arsenide

I'm looking for the resistivity and magnetic permeability of molten gallium arsenide, but can only seem to find the values for the solid material at room temperature (e.g., Wikpedia). Not even ...
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4answers
2k views

What could magnetic monopoles do that electrically charged particles can't?

I understand the significance to physics, but what can a magnetic monopole be used for assuming we could free them from spin ice and put them to work? What would be a magnetic version of electricity? ...